Four ways to improve your play-by-play during the off-season

It’s easy to let development of your on-air abilities slip during the grind of a busy broadcasting season. That’s why off-season is the perfect time to put a laser focus on advancing your play-by-play skills.

Here are four suggestions:

1. Practice with online video

There are a million broadcasts online that you can use to practice. Record your practice then self-critique.

2. Study other broadcasters

When I started doing TV play-by-play after many years on radio, I began wondering how to handle various situations throughout the broadcast. I started studying how often Greg Gumbel and Joe Buck gave time and score and how frequently they stated how many yards were gained on a play.

I didn’t just observe without having a goal. I wrote down questions to which I wanted answers, then found the answers by studying others.

3. Self critique

You are your own harshest critic. You’ll hear little things that aggravate you that nobody else would notice. But it’s by paying attention to and addressing even the smallest things that helps you get better.

Use our free Play-by-Play Pyramid as a guide for your critique sessions.

4. Keep a calendar

To ensure you do these things, create an off-season calendar. Write down the days upon which you’re going to practice and the days upon which you’re going to self critique and study others.

Coaches have a practice plan for in-season and the off-season. You can do the same thing for yourself. It will help you make great strides in your play-by-play, even when you’re not on the air.

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